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2 Arrested in Alleged Bomb Plot

April 24, 2001|ANDREW BLANKSTEIN and ZANTO PEABODY | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Acting on a parent's tip, Burbank police arrested two 18-year-olds, one of them a student, and booked them on suspicion of conspiracy to explode a bomb at Burbank High School, police and school officials said Monday.

Patrick Longmire, 18, a junior at the high school, and Christopher Mannino, 18, of Van Nuys, admitted to officers that they planned to detonate a bomb at the campus, said Burbank Sgt. Bill Taylor. Both were jailed in lieu of $1 million bail, Taylor said.

Burbank school officials said they are beefing up security on the campus and conducting random metal detector searches. They added that violence at the school is rare.

The police said Longmire said classmates picked on him. Revenge for bullying has been cited as the motive in recent shootings at other schools.

"It's a tragic and dangerous trend," said Burbank Schools Supt. David Aponik. "We need to be prepared to stop it."

The disclosure of the alleged bomb plot followed the arrests earlier this month of two students from John Burroughs High School in Burbank, both in connection with separate threats to classmates, said Police Lt. Kevin Krafft. One arrest stemmed from rumors on the campus and the other from an Internet posting, Krafft said.

Longmire and Mannino were arrested early Saturday after a parent, whose child was a friend of Longmire, told police she learned about alleged plans to place a bomb in the school.

Police said the two were not found with explosives. They were arrested based on statements they gave to officers and others, Taylor said.

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Times staff writer David Pierson contributed to this story.

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